Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween from SBK

Don't Fear the Reaper or maybe just the cowbell.

"Don't Fear the reaper by Blue Oyster Cult

Need more cowbell sketch from SNL

Sunday, October 30, 2011

On the turntable...Pink Floyd's Animals

Animals is the tenth studio album by English progressive rock group Pink Floyd, released in January 1977. A concept album, it provides a scathing critique of the social-political conditions of 1970s Britain, and presents a marked change in musical style from their earlier work. Animals was recorded at the band's studio, Britannia Row, in London, but its production was punctuated by the early signs of discord that several years later would culminate in keyboardist Richard Wright leaving the band. The album's cover image, a pig floating between two chimneys on Battersea Power Station, was conceived by bassist and writer Roger Waters, and photographed by long-time collaborators Hipgnosis.

The album was released to generally positive reviews in the United Kingdom (UK), where it reached number two. It was also a success in the United States (US), reaching number three on the Billboard 200, and although it scored on the American charts for only six months, steady sales have resulted in its certification by the RIAA at four times platinum. The size of the venues on the band's In the Flesh tour, and an incident in which he spat at a fan, prompted Roger Waters to conceive the band's subsequent album, The Wall.

Animals was the child of another Waters concept; loosely based on George Orwell's political fable Animal Farm, its lyrics described various classes in society as different kinds of animals; the combative dogs, despotic ruthless pigs, and the "mindless and unquestioning herd" of sheep. Whereas the novella focuses on Stalinism, the album is a critique of capitalism and differs again in that the sheep eventually rise up to overpower the dogs. The album was developed from a collection of unrelated songs into a concept which, in the words of author Glenn Povey, "described the apparent social and moral decay of society, likening the human condition to that of mere animals."

Apart from its critique of society, the album was also in part a response to the punk rock movement, which grew in popularity as a nihilistic statement against the prevailing social and political conditions, and also a reaction to the general complacency and nostalgia that appeared to surround rock music. Pink Floyd was an obvious target for punk musicians, notably Johnny Rotten, who wore a Pink Floyd t-shirt on which the words "I hate" had been written in ink. Drummer Nick Mason later stated that he welcomed the "Punk Rock insurrection" and viewed it as a welcome return to the underground scene from which Pink Floyd had grown. In 1977 he produced The Damned's second album- "Music For Pleasure"- at Britannia Row.

In his 2008 book Comfortably Numb, author Mark Blake argues that "Dogs" contains some of David Gilmour's finest work; although the guitarist sings only one lead vocal, his performance is "explosive". The song also contains notable contributions from keyboardist Richard Wright, which echo the funereal synthesiser sounds used on the band's previous album, Wish You Were Here.

"Pigs (Three Different Ones)" is audibly similar to "Have a Cigar", with bluesy guitar fills from Gilmour. Of the song's three pigs, the only one directly identified is morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse, who amongst other things is described as a "house-proud town mouse". "Sheep" contains a modified version of Psalm 23, which continues the traditional "The Lord is my shepherd" with words like "he maketh me to hang on hooks in high places and converteth me to lamb cutlets" (referring to the sheep of the title). Toward the end of the song, the eponymous sheep rise up and kill the dogs, but later retire back to their homes. The album is book-ended by each half of "Pigs on the Wing", a simple love song in which a glimmer of hope is offered despite the anger expressed in the album's three other songs. Described by author Andy Mabbett as "[sitting] in stark contrast to the heavyweight material between them", the two halves of the song were heavily influenced by Waters' relationship with his then girlfriend.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Phish to release Hampton/Winston-Salem '97 Box Set (Rolling Stone)

phish box set
Phish, 'Hampton/Winston-Salem 1997' Boxset
Courtesy Phish
By Benjy Eisen
Rolling Stone

Phish are taking a break from touring this fall, but the quartet will try to appease their fans’ seemingly insatiable thirst for new music by releasing a seven-CD box set containing three complete back-to-back shows from their legendary Fall 1997 tour. As its title, Hampton/Winston-Salem ’97, implies, the box set compiles two shows from Hampton, Virginia (November 21st and 22nd, 1997) and one from Winston-Salem, North Carolina (November 23rd, 1997). The set will hit stores on December 6th. Pre-orders are available now through the band's official merchandise arm, Phish Dry Goods. You can also download the live recording of Phish's "Mikes Song -> I Am Hydrogen -> Weekapaug Groove" from November 22nd, 1997 here.

In addition to offering all three shows in their entirety, the set also includes never-before-heard soundcheck material. And yet, only one song is repeated on the entire eight-hour set: "Black-Eyed Katy" a then-new instrumental that, in some ways, set the tone for the entire Fall 1997 tour by turning the dial to funk. (By 1998, with the addition of lyrics, "Black-Eyed Katy" transformed into Phish's showcase funk jam, "The MOMA Dance").

That Fall 1997 tour remains among the most revered Phish tours in history, by the band's ever attentive and analytical fan base. Their improvisational abilities were at an all-time premium, the new emphasis on funk ensured that every show was a dance party, and the sold-out crowds provided a synergy for the band's energetic, three-hour-plus excursions – each one of which was unique. 

And while they were playing to larger audiences than ever before, Phish were also unafraid to let loose onstage, tackling a number of just-for-fun covers ranging from Jimi Hendrix's fiery "Izabella" to Del McCoury's bluegrass classic, "Beauty Of My Dreams." The box set opens with the band's debut of the Rolling Stones' "Emotional Rescue." But as Phish archivist Kevin Shapiro notes in the press release, "More than what was played, the sheer heights of these performances are what made them special and built their acclaim."

The release of the two nights at Hampton is of particular significance. They're two of the most requested concerts from the band's vault and not only do they represent some of Phish's finest moments but they also took place at their most prized venue: the Hampton Coliseum.  Nicknamed "the Mothership" by fans – in part because of the way it looks from the outside – the Hampton Coliseum has been ground zero for many important nights over Phish's storied career. In fact, when the band reunited in 2009 after a five-year breakup, they booked a three-night run at the venue to mark their return. A previous box set, entitled Hampton Comes Alive, documents the band's 1998 two-night stand there as well.

Looking ahead, Phish will forge new memories when they return to New York's Madison Square Garden for a four-night New Year's Run that has become something of a tradition. Tickets for those shows will go on sale through Ticketmaster on Saturday, October 29, at Noon ET – for a predicted precious few moments before selling out.
Phish Fall 1997Photograph by C. Taylor Crothers © Phish 2011

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Friday, October 28, 2011

The wrong string was just right for Troy Suggs

Some people have dreams that burn red hot, some that simmer for years under occupational hazards of day to day life and others coax those dreams to the surface and take the chance. Music may have started and ended for Troy Suggs with writing his first song at age 16, but the writer in him never completely went to black.  

Growing up in the 80s means country was cool and music was a rich part of family activities, so Troy started guitar lessons like a thousand other kids, but school and grades ultimately came first.  Music was stirring inside him and the first of many influences would lead him to his Americana sound today.  Pearl Jam's Ten, The Screaming Trees, and even a memory of a first album Hank Williams Jr. Habits Old and New have rattled around in Troy's head for years as his musical aspirations were slowly being put away for happier times and life.  His lyrics and strumming out tunes as a teenager on his old Martin import Sigma seemed to have been frozen in time until now.

Sitting in Troy's kitchen on a Tuesday afternoon while talking and listening to his new album, Don't, you forget that the blend of conversation and music playing is his...and that it's not the radio station playing some established musician's popular songs.  This is a guy who simply just wants to play his music and let that 16 year old writer flourish now as a man. 

Fame and fortune is not Troy's aspiration either, he is inspired to write songs and play his music for the sheer enjoyment of it. 

Raw nerves were exposed at an 'open mike' night at Cokesbury Church in Knoxville, TN earlier this year.  Troy had an opportunity to perform his own original material for a captive audience and when asked to recall that night, Troy mentioned "It didn't start out how he wanted it to", he stated that "his nerves and fingers weren't cooperating and he hit a wrong string on his guitar and the note just drifted out into the audience."  Troy said he looked down and saw everyone still grooving along and one particular member of the audience was just nodding their head in enjoyment of the music...and that was it for Troy...he got the feedback any performer is striving for and now he knows his music can no longer remain locked up in the attic for no one to hear.

It's hard to imagine that Don't is Troy's first recording.  It sounds like a guy that had been recording since that young age of 16 and has lived and matured just like the wood on that old Martin guitar.  The lyrics are thoughtful and the infectious melodies are layered across a very strong foundation from the band.  All seven songs on the record are originals and there is more where that came from, including one written specifically for his upcoming show on Oct 28th at The Square Room in Knoxville,TN. 

Songs like "I Don't Want To Hear It" have a chorus that you can't and don't want to get out of your head.  "Don't Expect Me To Be Grateful" may have been written years ago but Troy said," I can go back to those feelings because we're all just one tragedy from being back where we were in that pain."  "Jealous Eyes" will be a favorite as Troy sings ," I passion and my pain collides." The seven songs were recorded with the support from family, friends, fellow Knoxville musicians and his loving wife, Georgette.  It proves that you can write good music even when you're not hurting. 

A familiar line from a beloved Kris Kristofferson..."And it took me back to something that I'd lost somewhere somehow along the way."  Its a good thing that Troy hadn't lost this music and refused to listen to any don'ts inside of his head or his heart.  This is a guy pursuing dreams that got pushed down deep long ago and we can all relate to that. This is definitely music you will want to hear...

Come see Troy Suggs at his CD release concert:

October 28, 2011
The Square Room Knoxville,TN

Written By:
Mike Smith & Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Troy Suggs' 'Don't' Review

They say that people are in your life for a reason and after repeated listens to Troy Suggs’ excellent debut, Don’t, I am certain that Troy is glad that he took a chance on playing some of his original music for local Knoxville musician, Erick Baker.  Erick encouraged Troy to pursue his dreams and the end result is a collection of seven wonderfully crafted songs that make up the album Don’t.

It is very rare these days that I have the opportunity to listen to an album in its entirety.  There are those rare occasions when the phone isn’t ringing off of the hook at work, or I’m not travelling with a car load of kids and I miss the days when I could just put a disc or record on and immerse myself in the music.  I was honored to be given an advanced copy of Don’t and it’s such a delight to hear that I found myself listening to it quite frequently over the past few weeks.  Troy has certainly been blessed with the ability to craft a catchy song with intelligent lyrics, that invoke a range of different emotions and by the last chords of ‘Don’t You Know (Superstar) you will also find yourself longing to hear more. 

If asked to label what type of music Troy Suggs creates, it would be extremely difficult to name only one genre.  For starters, his music is easily accessible and will appeal to people from all walks of life.  There are many diverse styles that are blended together well throughout the record.  You can certainly hear Troy’s country roots take center stage on a few tracks, but the closest analogy I can offer would be to imagine if The Eagles, Big Head Todd & The Monsters,  Todd Nance from Widespread Panic, and the late/great Clarence Clemons got together to record an album and you would have a good idea of what Don’t is all about. 

The album opener, ‘Another Sad Song,’ could easily find its home in Nashville with the lyrics “how the blues took a hike and they’re gone to stay, now there won’t be any more pure heartache” sung with a familiar Southern twang and complete with some wonderful fiddle playing courtesy of Bethany Hankins.  Troy sings with conviction on ‘Don’t Tell Me’ and ‘Don’t Expect Me To Be Grateful’ displays the vulnerability of a broken heart that is absent in most of today’s music. 

Without a doubt, my favorite track on the disc is the driving ‘Jealous Eyes’ with stellar interplay between Suggs, sax player, Jason ‘JT’ Thompson, and lead guitarist, Wes Lunsford, which sounds quite remarkable.  There are some beautiful melodies and harmonizing on the breezy ‘I Don’t Wanna Hear It’ and the subtle and encouraging ‘Don’t You Know (Superstar)’ which closes the album.

I am certainly eager to hear these songs performed live and the CD Release show tomorrow night promises to be a success.  It’s been stated before, but it’s hard to believe that Troy Suggs is a working man who has written and recorded such excellent music on the side and is not a professional recording artist.   He has surrounded himself with some of the finest musicians in Knoxville on Don’t, which certainly elevates his original compositions to new heights. 

Overall, this is a fantastic collection of songs and a solid body of work that surpasses any expectation that Troy Suggs could have possibly had about his debut release.  I am privileged to consider Troy my friend and am proud of the music he has created.  Pick up a copy of Don’t-you will not be disappointed!

-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brett Dennen...Red Hot Loverboy at the Bijou 10/21/11

Brett Dennen was simply a lot of fun at the Bijou Theatre this past Friday night!
My wife and I were familiar with his music for a while,but on a recent road trip we heard him guest dj on Sirius Internet radio station and really fell in love with him.  He has a lot of endearing features...he's tall,red headed and quirky but with a great unique voice.  Whenever we hear him on the radio we always do our best impression of him from his guest dj show "Hey this is Brett Dennen."

His music is infectious and makes you want to get up and dance.  His voice is mesmerizing and it makes you want him to turn off all the electronics and do a whole show acoustically.  In fact there was a moment in the concert that he did a few acoustic numbers.  One specifically he did because a fan got his attention and claimed he promised to sing it.  Of course he gladly did so and then afterwards asked, "is there anything else I promised anyone ?" The crowd laughed and shouted other favorite song titles.  Brett then played "Ain't No Reason" and it was one of my favorite musical moments of the night because it was just his soulful voice and his guitar and the Bijou at its best amplifying the sound.
Get out to see him if you are some tour dates.

Also go here to see his latest video for "Comeback Kid (That's My Dog)".  It was filmed at the Oakland A's ballpark and its a great song off his latest album Loverboy.

Mike Smith, The Showbiz Kids

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Music Tuesdays: Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto

LOS ANGELES ( - If nothing else, with "Mylo Xyloto," Coldplay may have succeeded in making the least conceptually developed concept album of all time.
Chris Martin and bandmates have described their song cycle as being about two young lovers who come apart and fall back together in the face of the oppressors that perennially conspire to keep youthful romantics down -- like, you know, rock critics and GOOP-bashing player haters.
Sorry, had to go there. No, "Mylo Xyloto" actually appears to be set in some future dystopia, where underdogs in love rage against the machine by… spray-painting.
That's as specific as it gets, and any listeners not clued in ahead of time that there's an ostensible narrative arc will be none the wiser -- or sorrier -- for not noticing that songs like "Us Against the World" refer to characters named Mylo and Xyloto (pronunciation key: rhymes with "so-so") and not Martin and partner(s).
Take away that thin post-prog-rock story hook and what's left is prototypical Coldplay: vague but soaring anthems of undying hope and passion, set to modest piano intros that build to cathedral-sized synth blasts, with choruses whose sing-song-y lyrical conceits may or may not eventually just give way to the falsetto "oh-oh-oh-oh-oh" that everyone's waiting for.
There are slight wrinkles in the sound, but not as many as promised. Which is a shame, because on the band's two previous albums, they really did make some headway, with "X&Y" finding harder guitar edges to balance out the electronic piano trademark, and "Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends" successfully expanding into orchestral and exotic-instrument eclecticism.
But now that "Death" has taken a holiday, "Mylo Xyloto" comes off as a retreat back into familiar safety zones, even as it holds onto some of the last album's "Enoxification" (with Brian Eno credited this time as a co-writer and aural consultant, but not officially a producer).
Pre-release promises about changes to the sound don't add up to much. Martin had described the album as Coldplay's move into "pop," which is a little like saying that Jimmy Cliff is thinking about trying out reggae.
Even more ballyhooed were the supposed dance-music influences, which you might search for in vain, unless the occasional rave-like tone of the most underlying synths counts.
Only one track really goes there, that being -- naturally -- the duet with Rihanna on "Princess ofChina," which features RiRi singing a lot of "whoa-oh-oh-oh" and "la-la-la-la" in the choruses, per the inclinations of her host. In the outro, though, Martin and Rihanna join together to repeat the line "You really hurt me," and it's a half-startling moment, since there's not much in the way of vivid pain that comes through anywhere else on this aurally over-cushioned album.
On "Viva la Vida," Martin seemed to be making some strides toward slightly darker territory, especially with the uncharacteristically lustful "Yes." But on "Mylo Xyloto," he refrains from identifying much of anything interior that might be pulling his lovers apart before they get it back together.
Maybe Martin's too much the eternal idealist to ever linger in shady places. Or maybe he's just too intensely, defensively private, knowing that anything much in the way emotional specifics would have fans (and haters) scouring the lyric sheet for clues to his highly guarded relationship with a famous movie actress, something he could never stomach.
What you're left with on the frustrating "Mylo Xyloto" is, to be sure, pretty -- often, really, really pretty -- but as hard to get a hold of in its smaller moments as its would-be concept is to grasp as a bigger picture.

Monday, October 24, 2011

On the road for vinyl: Rainy night in Chicago

Chicago lived up to its name as the windy city and added rain for good measure.  So I ventured out anyway and navigated the Chicago train down to the Damen stop and walked around the Wicker Park neighborhood looking for my two destinations Reckless Records and Permanent Records over on W. Chicago.  By the way I ate dinner at Jerry's  Sandwiches and Beer and I highly recommend that place...sit at the bar if you can because they play and discuss good music.

Anyway, once I arrived at Reckless Records it was a warm and inviting stop.  Exactly what I had envisioned but some cool surprises as well.  As Pink Floyd's Meddle played overhead I looked through racks of new but mostly old records and daydreamed about where these records have travelled over their lifetime. I found a first issue of Jimmy Smith's The Boss, The Who's The Who By Numbers,and Graham Nash's Songs For BeginnersThey had put the Graham Nash record on the turntable and only made it through the first song when I asked if I could buy it and broke the sales girl's heart.  I gave her an out to keep it but she thanks again...great store.
I tried to stop at Permanent Records but they closed early...maybe next time.

Reckless adds a cool note about the record

Mike Smith, The Showbiz Kids

Sunday, October 23, 2011

On the turntable...The Ozark Mountain Daredevils

The Ozark Mountain Daredevils is the debut album by the Country rock band The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Sporting a patchwork-quilt cover that gave some indication of its eclectic musical content, and spawned the #25 hit single "If You Wanna Get To Heaven", plus many other laid-back originals from the Missouri natives.

  1. "Country Girl" (Steve Cash) - 3:22
  2. "Spaceship Orion" (Larry Lee) – 3:11
  3. "If You Wanna Get to Heaven" (Steve Cash, John Dillon) – 3:04
  4. "Chicken Train" (Steve Cash) – 3:37
  5. "Colorado Song" (Steve Cash, John Dillon) – 5:05
  6. "Standin' on the Rock" (John Dillon) – 3:54
  7. "Road to Glory" (Randle Chowning) – 4:55
  8. "Black Sky" (Steve Cash) – 3:08
  9. "Within Without" (Larry Lee) – 4:25
  10. "Beauty in the River" (John Dillon) – 3:55

  • Steve Cash - harmonica, harpsichord, percussion, vocals
  • John Dillon - guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dulcimer, autoharp, keyboards, percussion, vocals
  • Larry Lee - guitar, keyboards, drums, percussion, vocals, saw
  • Randle Chowning - guitar, harmonica, vocals
  • Michael Granda - bass, percussion, vocals
  • Buddy Brayfield - piano, keyboards
  • Elizabeth Anderson - Backing Vocals
  • Sidney Cash - Backing Vocals
  • Janet Lee - Backing Vocals
  • Donald Bromage - Backing Vocals

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Beatles hair was fab

 The Beatles influence was widespread in our culture,music and clothing.  However their hair took a life all its own.  Check out this website mop-top mania.


Ed Sullivan wearing Beatles wig

John mocking the mop-top attention


Beatles wig

Beady Eye (members from past bands such as Oasis and Ride)

Even The Bieber

Mike Smith, The Showbiz Kids 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wilco Add Small Chicago Show

Wilco announced the addition of a show to close their fall tour at the 500-person Lincoln Hall, in Chicago on December 18.

The extreme underplay will benefit the Inspiration Corporation. 
All tickets are $100 and there is a strict two-ticket limit. In order to avoid scalping, tickets can only be picked up at will call. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hear R.E.M.'s Final Single 'We All Go Back To Where We Belong'

Rolling Stone has an posted an exclusive final single from the recently-disbanded R.E.M. "We All Go Back to Where We Belong," is the final single of their astonishing three-decade career.  (The track will appear with two other unreleased tracks on Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011, a career-spanning retrospective due out November 15th.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 23rd Record & CD Show in Knoxville TN

Time & Location:
Sunday October 23rd from 10am-5pm
Holiday Inn Select on Cedar Bluff I-75/I-40
Knoxville TN

Record & CD show. Free admission
Show Logic Productions

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Music Tuesdays-Jane's Addiction 'The Great Escape Artist'

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over twenty-one years since Jane’s Addiction released their alternative breakthrough, 'Ritual de lo Habitual', but the band returns with the long awaited 'The Great Escape Artist', available today.   Jane’s Addiction’s brief comeback in 2003 was marked by the disappointing 'Strays,' but, thankfully, there is no disappointment with this release.

'The Great Escape Artist' sees an updated and contemporary version of Jane’s Addiction, that sees the band experimenting with electronic music and their more familiar alt-rock riffs, which makes this album intriguing and a delight to listen to.

The album clocks in under 40 minutes, which leaves the listener certainly wanting more.  Perry Farrell still has an uncanny knack for writing catchy lyrics with 'End to the Lies' and 'Curiosity Kills' being no exception.

'The Great Escape Artist' is fresh and contemporary and a welcome return of a band that has been gone far too long. 

-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids
Showbiz Kids Rating: 8.5 out of possible 10

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gregg Allman, Robert Plant and Avett Brothers Honored in Nashville

The 10th annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards took place in Nashville over the weekend. The Ryman Auditorium hosted the event which celebrated a variety of artists selected by members of the Americana Music Association. Robert Plant was on hand to accept Album of the Year honors for Band Of Joy. Song of the Year honors went to Justin Townes Earle and his “Harlem River Blues,” while Buddy Miller was selected as Artist of the Year as well as Instrumentalist of the Year. Lifetime Achievement winners included Gregg Allman, Jerry Douglas and Lucinda Williams while both Mumford And Sons and the Avett Brothers also received awards.
Americana Music Association Honors & Awards Winners
Album of the Year: Robert Plant, Band Of Joy
Song of the Year: Justin Townes Earle, “Harlem River Blues”
Artist of the Year: Buddy Miller
New/Emerging Artist: Mumford And Sons
Duo/Group of the Year: Avett Brothers
Instrumentalist of the Year: Buddy Miller
Lifetime Achievement for Songwriting: Lucinda Williams
Lifetime Achievement for Performance: Gregg Allman
Lifetime Achievement for Instrumentalist: Jerry Douglas
The Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement for Executive: Rick Hall
Trailblazer: Bob Harris